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blood and treasure

blood and treasure
 n.— «As a discussion of the Iraq War grows longer (and more heated), it becomes more and more likely that someone will invoke the phrase “blood and treasure.” This olde-tyme expression, popular with Jefferson and Monroe in the 18th and 19th centuries—and Cromwell long before that—first crept into the Iraq debate a couple of years ago and quickly went viral. B&T has now become the go-to cliché for journalists, bloggers, politicians or anyone else who finds himself getting clobbered in an Iraq argument and is groping around for a little rhetorical juice to disarm the other side.» —“The Iraq War’s Go-To Cliché” by Weston Kosova Newsweek Sept. 14, 2007. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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    There is something crass about “Blood and Treasure” – at least in my contemporary mind. Archetypally, blood is life, kinship and ultimate value, whereas treasure is hoarded, ostentatious, excess. How fitting in this age of “the price of everything and the value of nothing” that this combination should be attached to a “displacement war” on an abstract noun!

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